Watching TV raises vaccination awareness for disabled teen

KANGAR – Television has played an important part in a disabled teenager’s awareness of the importance of COVID-19 vaccination.

Mohammad Syazren Karim, 25, a person with disabilities (PwD), loves watching TV and catching up on the latest information regarding the COVID pandemic. So much so, he kept pestering his mother, Sabariah Ibrahim, 60, to take him for his vaccination as he feared contracting the infection and wanted to heed the government’s call to get vaccinated.

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Sabariah said her son would ask her daily when the health department would call them for the vaccine shots. She said he, however, did not know the process required to obtain a vaccination date.

“…. he kept urging me to get vaccinated,” Sabariah said when met by reporters at the ‘Mobile Vaccination Programme with the Perlis State Secretary’ at the Jauhar Jannah Community Rehabilitation Centre (PPDK), here, today.

The mother of five said that although Mohammad Syazren had learning disabilities and did not really understand what a vaccine was, he seemed to know the importance of the vaccine and dangers of the COVID-19 infection.

Sabariah is thankful that today she managed to fulfill her child’s wish for the first dose of the vaccine by registering manually at the counter. She said she arrived at 9 am from Kuala Perlis at PPKD Jauhar Jannah with his son.

Meanwhile, Loo Chin Ean, 63, from Kampung Baru, here, also brought his son Tan Huay Tee, 30, who is also a PWD to take the first dose of the COVID-19 vaccine, here.

The grocery store owner said it was not easy to handle a special needs child who needed caregivers. “Here (PPKD) it is easier and more comfortable as it is among the local community whereas it is difficult for him at a vaccination centre because he does not want to wear a face mask,” he added.

Meanwhile, Perlis COVID-19 Immunisation Team chairman Azman Mohd Yusof said the PPDK was the first in the state involving a total of 48 PWD and their guardians to receive the COVID-19 vaccine injection.

He said the PPDK would be expanded to nine in the near future according to the needs of the community as a result of monitoring by the Village Security and Development Committee.

“The PPDK is the state government’s new strategy in collaboration with the State Health Department and the Social Welfare Department to launch the vaccination process to the target group,” he also said.

He added that Perlis had recorded a total of 105,000 registrations as of yesterday with 60 per cent of the total having been vaccinated.